Domaine Château de La Tour
Clos de Vougeot Vieilles Vignes
Grand Cru Red 750 ml
Tasted: Jan 10, 2020
Note: from vines that were planted in 1910
Producer note: François Labet told me that 2018 had "a very large fruit set so even with our high percentage of old vines, it was critical to control yields because if you didn't, even with the very hot temperatures it was difficult to obtain sufficient phenolic maturity. I began picking my chardonnay on the 4th of September and picked both my Côte de Beaune pinot [sold under the Labet label for which the reviews will appear in Issues 78 and 79]. We chose to begin picking the Clos on the 7th of September and picked slowly as the conditions were warm but largely ideal. The fruit was very clean with yields that varied between 35 and 38 hl/ha. The potential alcohols were actually pretty reasonable considering the heat as nothing came in over 14% and most were right at 13.5%. We used 100% whole clusters for the vinifications and the fermentations gave us no particular concerns. The style of the 2018s isn't classic but given how much they have freshened over the course of the élevage, they may well surprise people as to how they evolve over the longer term." The 2017s, revisited below, were bottled in June 2019. (Terlato Wines, IL, USA; Corney & Barrow, www.corneyandbarrow.com, UK; Watson's Wines, 852.2606.8828, www.watsonswine.com, Hong Kong).
Tasting note: Similar wood treatment with a touch of menthol is present on the red berry aromas. There is better mid-palate density to the broad-shouldered and powerful flavors that possess excellent depth and persistence on the balanced and youthfully austere finish where a hint of wood resurfaces. There is much better than average concentration in the context of what is typical for the 2017 vintage though note well that this is presently very backward.